Little Black Mountain is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
cross country skiing
Head east up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Steiner Centennial section. The rocky path is wide, and scrub oak on both sides provides a bit of shade for about half a mile. At mile 0.08 is the City Creek Saddle and a great view of the University of Utah below. Do not follow the Bonneville Shoreline Trail anymore. Instead, continue northeast up a hill of dry grass and grasshoppers. You will wander up and back down several hills with great canyon views. At the third hill, 1.2 miles, veer slightly left and go around the fourth hill. It's not a tough walk to hill six, where you get a taste of the steepness to come. Half way up hill six, veer left again, continuing east. The trail then curves north and east up another hill. At 2.1 miles you will reach an elevation of 6,398. This is just over halfway to the nearer of two Little Black Mountain peaks. Continue on another mile where the real steep part begins. From here, climb a brutal 800 feet in just more than half a mile. It gets grueling, and there is no shade. However, at mile 3.7 you will reach the top ridge of Little Black Hill, with spectacular views of Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele and Weber counties. You can continue on to reach another peak on the mountain, if you still have energy left.
This is a fantastic and relatively long hike. I started from my housing near The Pie Pizzeria by the University and took a trailhead north of Virginia Street. It ended up being 12.8 miles out and back. 3 hours up; 2.5 hours back. (The trail itself is 9.4 miles out and back from the trailhead I chose.) Awesome views all along the way. The first several miles are gradual and well-trafficked. Then there is quite a climb section once you reach Little Black Mountain proper. The scramble at the top deterred me from reaching the absolute summit - I don't think scrambling on a solo hike is always the best idea - but the views in all directions are pretty spectacular and diverse: the Salt Lakes, downtown, the Wasatch. A little windy and chilly on top, especially if you sit still for too long. Coming back down there were long stretches that were runnable. All in all a rewarding and beautiful way to spend the day!
I hiked this trail on snowshoes last winter to just before the climb gets steepest. Great views and a fun trail to snowshoe. Like to hike it again in summer